BEIJING -- A new regulation restricting surveying and mapping by foreigners
will be implemented in China on March 1.
regulation will strengthen China's management of surveying and mapping by
foreign organizations and individuals, protect national security, and promote
economic and scientific cooperation between China and other countries," said an
official from the State Bureau of Survey and Mapping on Thursday.
Foreign organizations and individuals who intend to engage in surveying and
mapping must obtain approval from the central government and accept supervision
from local governments, according to the regulation.
The Chinese law on surveying and mapping states that foreigners must
cooperate with a Chinese partner and the activities must not involve state
secrets or jeopardize national security.
The results of the surveying and mapping are owned by China, and must not be
taken and transmitted abroad without legal permission, according to the
The number of foreigners conducting surveying and mapping in China is on the
rise and many field projects have been carried out illegally, which is a threat
to national security, said the Ministry of Land and Resources without mentioning
the number of such cases.
Last year, two Japanese scholars were fined a total of 80,000 yuan (10,250
U.S. dollars) and deported for mapping the coordinates of an airport and water
facilities in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It was feared their results
could be used militarily.
According to the State Bureau of Survey and Mapping, foreigners who illegally
survey, gather and publish geographical information on China will be severely
Chinese partners or translators will be fined if they fail to stop illegal